Yesterday, the Detroit Lions traded standout cornerback Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles for a pair of 2020 draft picks.
It was a transaction that’s been in the making for quite some time; there was not much doubt last summer that Darius Slay and the Detroit Lions were headed towards an ugly divorce. Slay, along with Damon Harrison, held out last August, hoping to land new contract extensions. Harrison got his, Slay did not but eventually reported to the team anyway.
We can safely assume Slay, and the Lions were destined to have another messy summer if general manager Bob Quinn failed to find a deal for his services. Well now that Slay is off to Philadelphia leaving the Lions with an underwhelming return, but even more intriguing taking a few upper-cuts as parting gifts towards his now-former head coach Matt Patricia.
First, the compensation Detroit received from the Eagles. Bob Quinn was only able to muster a third and fifth-round pick(s) for one of the better corners in football. That seems like a win for the Eagles, who immediately rewarded Slay with a three-year $50 million deal, making $30 million of it guaranteed money.
It’s a return that should leave no Lions’ fan excited. At this point, it seems Bob Quinn just wanted to move on from Slay, and the return became secondary to making a deal. There is no doubt Slay is worth a second and fourth-round pick, but this is Quinn trying to deter further fireworks from occurring. Landing a second-round pick would have softened the blow a bit, but a third-round pick means you think Slay is worth the 85th best college football player. When you put it that way, it’s a transaction that should be chalked up as a loss for Detroit.
Slay has been disgruntled, and after Detroit signed corner Desmond Trufant Wednesday evening, he didn’t mix words. I do like it when an athlete doesn’t leave much to our imagination. Slay told us how he felt, dramatically enhancing his chances to be traded sooner rather than later.
Slay, like many of us, realized that the Detroit Lions had just signed his replacement. It would have been something to watch both Slay and Trufant work together in Detroit’s secondary during the 2020 season, but unfortunately, it was never going to be an option.
As I mentioned about three weeks ago, Slay and the Detroit Lions were destined for an ugly divorce. This was never going to be a separation, you know, when you shake hands and go on your merry way. Leaving on bad terms is starting to become a common theme in Detroit, and I’d be lying if I didn’t mention it’s a bit worrisome. Diggs, Harrison along with Slay now have all had something to say after leaving town, and not in a good way.
"“Of course I wanted to stay (in Detroit) for a minute, but I already knew how me and Matt Patricia is, that wasn’t going to last long,” Slay said.“He told me I had no business working out with Richard Sherman and (Aqib) Talib because I wasn’t elite,” Slay said. “Those were the guys that were elite category and I was just good.“That’s the whole point, I didn’t get the thought, sitting here telling me not to go work with somebody, I’m not elite,” Slay continued. “If I ain’t elite in your eyes, at least I’m trying to go compete with guys and work with guys, pick their brains and become elite.”“At that time, I didn’t care really,” Slay said. “Shoot, I didn’t have that much for respect for Matty P, as a person. It was hard for me to play for him. That’s all that was.”"
In closing, Slay did mention he has a lot of love for the city of Detroit, and it’s fans. He went on to say that he will miss attending all the high school games throughout Metro Detroit he regularly frequented, the guys in the locker room, and his fans.
The Lions need to repair this locker room relationship between the players and the head coach. Things went south last season after Detroit traded captain Quandre Diggs to Seattle for a cup of coffee and a box of donuts.
Since that transaction, you could cut the tension with a knife. Perhaps that is why Quinn and Patricia feel the need to continue stockpiling New England’s castaway’s who are already familiar with Patricia’s antics. I’m sure Patricia was trying to get the best out of his star player, but these Mike Babcock-Esque motivational tactics don’t work with all athletes.
The ‘Patriot’ way works in New England because winning cures all. Perhaps before Patricia tries to emulate Bill Belichick, try reaching the playoffs or at least achieve a .500 regular-season record. Just some food for thought.